Guilt

“Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above them.”-Washington Irving

I am emotional. I have all the same problems as the rest of the world does. I am constantly confused about which path to take, which side to choose, and why we are the way we are. I have mood swings, one minute I am super optimistic, the next I’m banging my head against the wall wondering what’s it all for?

Tonight I shared some time with my 19 year old. The older he gets the more guilty I feel. It tears me up every time I am around him. They say to blog like nobody is watching, whoever they are, and for whatever reason I care what “they” think. I contemplated not sharing my feelings, not getting too personal, to save it for the therapist someday. The problem is the thoughts and the feelings are gobbling up my brain, and I have to let them out.

I have three main problems. I don’t talk to my parents, my sisters, or really any of my immediate family. Those ties were severed almost 4 years ago now.

I wasn’t a good father to my sons. I can give you all the excuses you want. I was young, I was selfish, I had no idea how it would affect my life. The problem is, these are all bullshit. There is no excuse for being a mostly absent parent. It haunts me every single day of my life. I cringe when I think of how many times there feelings were hurt because of me. Once I lost that connection with them, something else went away too. I don’t know what it is. I have a hard time communicating with them, I can’t look either one of them in the eye, I always get easily annoyed when they are around. This is through no fault of their own. I can’t explain it. I lost the fatherhood bond with those boys. You can’t be a father to kid every other weekend, it doesn’t work that way. I know that now. My daughter gets my undivided attention, I know that bond now, and it makes me feel even worse for the boys.

I still see them, but the visits are becoming more and more sporadic as they are growing up and becoming more independent. I was 19 when Brendan was born, he is 19 now. He just got his first job working in a retirement community as a dishwasher. Tonight he was telling me how hard it was, how it bothered him that there wasn’t more time for training, and that it was taking him a little longer to learn how to do everything then what they liked. I could relate to this plight, and I wanted to tell him to just get used to it, because that’s how it goes in the world of odd jobs. I wanted to tell him that jobs like this are one of the prime reasons you should get a college degree so you don’t have to end up being the lowest guy on the totem pole all the time. Instead I just agreed with him and showed him some empathy because I didn’t want him to feel like I was preaching to him. There isn’t enough time in between visits for me to try and make up for all the parenting I failed to give him in the first place. Brendan & Riley have heard me apologize for this over and over. I try to be so blunt about it that I think it might actually be one of the things they don’t like about me, the fact that I am always so apologetic, always projecting my guilt onto them. That can’t be fun for them.

I don’t know how many of you out there know this feeling of guilt, but I know I can’t be the only one. I still see my sons as much as I can, I try to make myself accessible to them, and I feel like they try to do the same, but I also feel that very empty void, that missing piece, the disconnect between father and son. There is something unresolved that I can’t quite put my finger on, and may never be able to.

Guilt makes it hard to enjoy life, I always feel like I don’t deserve it when something good happens to me. I dwell on it, stew in it, and let it just completely consume me at times. It kills me a little bit each day. So I wrote this, and now I am going through the second guessing stage. I’ve come to far to delete it now.

I just wanted to let it out, and I feel better for it. I should be doing some homework right now. I can’t though, not with the weight of this guilt that has taken over my brain. I can’t even explain why I don’t talk to my parents. It’s beyond my comprehension. All I can do is keep taking one step at a time. My mom used to always say that, so even though we aren’t speaking to each other, I still hold onto the little pieces of advice that she gave me throughout the years.

To everyone: I’m sorry.

I can’t think of anything journalistic at the moment, or any clever way to twist my words to make my writing seem better. I feel empty inside, there are too many things holding me back from my full potential. I guess that means I need to come to some sort of resolution or acceptance.

CRITICAL THINKING FOLLOWED BY ACTION.

That is the only solution.

Good night.

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Guilt

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Denver Street Photography | Cowboy

Symbol of the West
folk-hero mythology
rugged pioneer

“Talk low, talk slow, and don’t say too much” – John Wayne

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Denver Street Photography | Cowboy

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Doors

“The Bookshop has a thousand books,
All colors, hues, and tinges,
And every cover is a door
That turns on magic hinges.” ― Nancy Byrd Turner

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Doors

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Doors

Rock Bottom City

a portrait of homelessness

human in distress

“Bleak, dark, and piercing cold, it was a night for the well-housed and fed to draw round the bright fire, and thank God they were at home; and for the homeless starving wretch to lay him down and die. Many hunger-worn outcasts close their eyes in our bare streets at such times, who, let their crimes have been what they may, can hardly open them in a more bitter world.”
Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist

I think of the homeless often, because I am surrounded by them on my daily wanderings throughout the streets of Denver. I have heard the argument that it would be wise to avoid photographing the homeless because you are somehow exploiting their plight for your own personal gain. I take this into consideration while I am out photographing in the streets, but I just cannot ignore the feeling I get when I come across a homeless person. I am overcome with the urge to photograph what I see as interesting, colorful, ordinary or out of the ordinary, the truth and reality. If I choose to ignore what I see as real, as something that is a problem, what kind of person would I be?

If all I ever shared were pictures of the beautiful people, the ones with the most interesting fashion sense, the ones that are juxtaposed in amusing ways, the ones who stand out in a crowd for whatever reason, that wouldn’t be reality either. I want to share my reality. I don’t want to leave out any of the gory details. For those that think I would take a picture of a homeless person for personal gain, you are right, I am looking to better myself as a person, contribute something to society by raising awareness, and feeling better about myself as a human being in the process. I don’t make one dime off any of my photography, and I am in fact deep in the hole financially because of it. I always tell the guys that carry signs on the corner, that they should probably be lending me some money. I am unemployed, I know for a fact those guys make more than me!

The best way to help: http://www.denversroadhome.org/

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Doors | On Homelessness

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Denver Street Art | 2126 Arapahoe St.

wheat paste afro skull
dark eyes stare into the void

I am staring back

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Denver Street Art | 2126 Arapahoe St.

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People in Cars

I have an on going “project” capturing images of people from the passenger seat of any car I am riding in. The truth of the matter is I am just obsessed with photography and am finding it increasingly difficult to put the camera down and shut off my photographic mind. The automobile is such a huge part of our everyday lives, and it just seems like a shame not to capture some of that experience for future generations that will wonder what it was like when cars that ran on oil and gas clogged up the roadways.

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People in Cars

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Denver Street Photography | Smile

“Peace begins with a smile..” ― Mother Teresa

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Denver Street Photography | Smile

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